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Anglo-American and Primark Companies Critical Analysis

Introduction

The need to ensure businesses compete and get profits makes them to establish policies and adopt measures that place them in better positions than their rivals. In addition, nations regulate business activities to ensure there is an equal playing ground for all investors and promote healthy competition. Investors must understand why they are in business because this will guide them to know whether they are on track or not and enable their employees to follow policies that will help them to achieve the objectives of their employers.

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Business ethics are indispensable aspects in investments because they ensure investors, employers and the public are responsible and accountable for their actions (Jennings 2011). They ensure the expectations of all stakeholders are met and promote healthy interactions among them. This paper evaluates the application of Goran Svensson and Greg Wood’s ‘Model of Business Ethics’ in the management of Anglo-American and Primark.

Definition

Business ethics refers to the policies and practices that ensure investors, employers, employees and the public engage in legal, professional and moral activities (The Times 100 2008). Therefore, this concept is diverse and covers all areas that affect the operations of an organization. This means that the public cannot be excluded from the activities of a company because it forms a platform to judge what is right or wrong. Goran Svensson and Greg Wood explain that business ethics are indispensable guidelines and practices that ensure all stakeholders play their roles effectively and help each other to promote healthy interactions among them. These authors use a model (Model of Business Ethics) to explain how businesses can transform their performances and public images by following and observing simple regulations.

Company Background

Anglo-American PLC is a British multinational mining company that operates in all continents. This company has struggled to remain the best in terms of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development policies. Its operations expose it to risks that may affect the lives of the public; therefore, it has a well established mechanism of ensuring that its practices conform to the requirements of environmental and human health policies.

Primark is a British multinational company that sells retail consumer products like shoes, confectioneries, clothes and beauty products. It has more than 277 outlets that are located in Western Europe. The need to sell healthy and durable products has pushed this company to use ethical practices that ensure its goods are safe and of high quality. It was established in 1969 by Arthur Ryan and Micaela Mitchell and has merged with other companies and expanded its operations to become an admirable fashion company.

Impacts of Ethical Business Practices

Advantages

These companies have earned good public admiration because of how they manage various issues that affect their operations. It is necessary to explain that they specialize in different business activities, but they apply similar policies that ensure the public continues to admire and support them. Svensson and Wood explain that business ethics are important in ensuring that organizations attract clients and retain them while boosting their trust and satisfying their needs. The application of various business ethics has various impacts on the performance of an organization. Primark and Anglo-American have enjoyed the following benefits because of the successful application of Svensson and Wood’s Business Ethics Model.

First, the expectations of these companies are based on the need to engage in business activities that use the available natural resources and at the same time respect the rights and safety of the local populations. They have successfully done so by following these steps. First, they ensure that they abide by government regulations about mining regardless of their impacts on the profits generated from their sales (Primark 2013).

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Anglo-America and Primark ensure they establish policies that are in line with national laws and thus their workers do not only obey company regulations but also the constitutional requirements of their countries. Secondly, they work with lobby groups to ensure their corporate social responsibilities revolve around issues of national importance (Jennings 2011). Lobby groups that fight for environmental conservation and healthy business practices have enjoyed healthy interactions with these companies because of their endless support. Thirdly, their institutional responsibilities ensure all stakeholders play their roles in promoting fair, healthy and just practices.

This helps these companies to reduce cases of unhealthy business practices and offer good working conditions for their employees. In addition, they conduct regular training and educate their workers to ensure they gain modern skills and knowledge that are necessary for promoting sustainable business practices (Fraedrich 2014). The power of the media has not been neglected by these organizations. They seek audiences with various media houses and through social sites to educate, inform and advise their clients and the public on various issues that affect their activities. Moreover, their managers are socially responsible and this means that they are keen on ensuring that their personal issues do not affect their performance or images of their companies (Kehoe 2013).

This has earned these companies admiration from the public and their competitors. These companies are members of professional associations in their fields and this helps them to fight for their rights and ensure there is healthy competition in their industries. Lastly, they practice international trade with integrity and this means that they abhor issues like smuggling and dumping that affect their activities.

Secondly, these companies have unique perceptions about various issues and this helps them to maintain a high performance record despite the economic challenges facing multinational organizations (Primark 2013). The relationships between the managers and subordinates of these companies are admirable because there are no evident gaps between them. Managers and their subordinates understand what they are supposed to do and thus there are minimal conflicts between them (Jennings 2011).

The relationships between staffs cannot be questioned because they understand the need for unity, cooperation and accountability in their duties. Shareholders enjoy a transparent accounting and management system and this boosts their confidence in the company. They are regarded as part of the top management of the company and this gives them confidence that their investments will be managed properly. The relationships between these companies and suppliers, customers and competitors are healthy and these stakeholders appreciate their roles in the existence of a healthy business environment.

Thirdly, these companies apply Svensson and Wood’s third model of effective evaluations to ensure they retain their positions in the global market. First, they evaluate the economic outcomes of their activities before taking further actions (Primark 2013). This means that they consider all the possible costs and benefits of new and existing projects before taking any action. Secondly, they engage in lawful business practices to ensure they produce legal products through recommended processes.

They are like other investments and thus they pay taxes promptly to abide by the regulations that control business activities in different locations (Ferrell 2012). Their practices abide by environmental policies and ensure they produce healthy products that will retain their customers. Lastly, they offer good working conditions to ensure they retain their workers and maintain the high quality of their products and services.

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Disadvantages

These companies do not enjoy the economies of scale and positive publicity without costs. First, they are forced to spend a lot of money in corporate social responsibilities and this reduces their profit margins. Secondly, they spend a lot of time in activities and practices that are not directly related to their line of production. This shifts their attention from the company to other sectors and thus reduces the volume of output of employees (Svensson and Wood 2008). Thirdly, there are many players in their fields and most of them do not follow or respect business ethics; therefore, the contributions of these companies to ensure there is a healthy environment is insignificant compared to those that ignore the need to engage in safe practices.

Conclusion

Anglo-America and Primark are among the world’s leading companies in ensuring that they establish and respect business ethics. They have earned admirable reputations because they are not only fixed on generating profits, but also protecting the environment and safety of consumers. Other companies should emulate them and encourage each other to abide by the ethical standards that regulate their activities. This may have several costs, but these companies will achieve long term benefits that will improve their sales, boost consumer and shareholder’s trusts and promote healthy interactions with governments, competitors and clients.

References

Ferrell, O.C. (2012). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. New York: Cengage Learning.

Fraedrich, J. (2014). Introduction to Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. New York: Cengage Learning.

Jennings, M. (2011). Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings. New York: Wiley.

Kehoe, W. (2013). Introduction to Business Ethics: Annual Editions: Business Ethics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Primark. (2013). Providing Consumers with Ethically Sourced Garments. Web.

Svensson, G. and Wood G. (2008). A Model of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, (77), p. 303–322.

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The Times 100. (2008). Anglo-American: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Web.

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